Oregon Wine Club – April 2011

2009 Brick House, Pinot Noir “Evelyn’s”
From the beginning, with their first planting in 1990, Brick House has been committed to Old World wisdom in their winemaking. All of their fruit is estate grown and certified organic, and winemaker Doug Tunnel maintains a natural, hands-off approach in growing and making his wines. We have featured his Gamay and his Dijonnais Pinot Noir in this club. This month we bring you Doug’s Pinot Noir, “Evelyn’s,” an homage to his mother. Evelyn’s is a blend of six different Pinot clones, selected from his finest barrels, and he makes it only in exceptional vintages. Doug calls the 2009 Evelyn’s “a velvet glove around an iron-fisted structure.” It has all the elegance and class that Doug’s wines are known for, with lovely aromas of dried flowers and spice. It is lush and layered, and a beautiful tribute to his mother! It is $57. The wine is quite limited, and this is the first time it has been available in Seattle for quite a while, so it was a treat to be able to put it in the club.

Brick House has been introducing Biodynamic practices over the years, and this wine is officially certified by Demeter, the international organization that regulates
Biodynamic products.

2009 Amalie Robert, Pinot Meunier
In our ongoing effort to make sure that this isn’t simply an Oregon Pinot Noir club, this month we take a baby step. You’ve probably all had Pinot Meunier (moon-yay) before, perhaps without knowing it. It is one of the three major grapes in Champagne, along with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The grape is a mutation of Pinot Noir, and named after the French word for miller (meunier) because of the flour-like dusty coating on its leaves. We’ve always loved Pinot Meunier as a still wine, when we can find one, so it was exciting to discover this wine, from Amalie Robert, in Oregon’s central Willamette Valley (we featured their Dijon Clones Pinot Noir in the December, 2009 club). Their dry-farmed fruit is much respected in the area, and used by a number of other Oregon winemakers in their wines. Pinot Meunier is one of the grapes they have planted in their 30-acre vineyard which is devoted mostly to Pinot Noir. The grape is known for its aromatics, fruitiness, soft tannins, and spice, and the 2009 vintage exemplifies all of those qualities. Amalie Robert produced only 100 cases of this wine, and they recommend pairing it with the kinds of foods that go well with Pinot Noir. The natural acidity would also make it a great partner for duck confit, steak Diane, or blue cheeses like Morbier or Camembert. It is $27 and can be enjoyed any time over the next three to five years.